Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : New business models for energy-efficient buildings through adaptable refurbishment solutions

Topic identifier: EEB-08-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
20 September 2016
Deadline: 19 January 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The most important benefit associated with the refurbishment of an existing building comes from improving the energy performance, which gives an essential contribution to reach the EU 2020 consumption goals, taking into account that buildings represent 40% of the energy use in the EU. A key challenge for its large-scale implementation is the necessity to manage a broader involvement of stakeholders representing different interests and different responsibilities influencing the potential solutions and actions. This regards not only the choice of technologies, but also the design and renovation methods, as well as a number of socio-economic issues.

Nowadays, decentralised energy generation technologies have been demonstrated in a number of building applications in Europe and beyond but large scale uptake and business deployment of these technologies is still in its early stage. Currently, the renovation level is about 1.2% of the building stock in Europe per year and it should increase, according to the European Performance Building Directive (EPBD), to 2 - 3 % per year until 2030. Innovative business models which allow consumers and the market to invest with confidence in long term operation, maintenance, reliability and service levels need to be developed.


Activities should focus on the benchmark and the assessment of innovative business models, evaluating different refurbishment packages enabling the selection of the most attractive and efficient ones for different building types (residential/District Heating Cooling connected) and climatic conditions, taking the maximum advantage of user behaviour and geo-clustering.

Adequate assessment tools and the methodological challenges facing analyses addressing the issue of comprehensive analytical approaches in order to inform business decisions in this respect need to be discussed. Life cycle models as input to the decision making process in the feasibility phase of the renovation project also need to be considered.

Proposals need to assess different highly resource-efficient business models for refurbishing buildings including the assessment of the possibilities provided by public procurement of innovative solutions, appropriate combinations of public and private funding, or only private funding. These concepts need to be developed taking into account the building owners, the socio-economic impacts, and the current EU crisis.

Proposals should also develop effective methods for steering and governance especially paying attention to the local scale, including the variety of actions by cities and municipalities that can define obligations or encourage voluntary actions. In particular the business models developed should support the preparation of innovation-related public building procurements by local/regional/national authorities or at European level, taking into account the needs of the public sector with regard to high-performance buildings (new or retrofitted ones).

The business models should cover the complete cycle as from the design phase of the building: decentralised energy generation technologies, integration, installation, commissioning, operation, servicing and maintenance, etc. In this framework, activities should cover business model design and optimisation, market and customer segmentation approaches for decentralised energy generation, consumer behaviour and decision driver research for optimising business model structures, supply chain and concept delivery optimisation, new earning models and financing mechanisms. In addition, proposers should also seek solutions to increase participation of stakeholders, considering methods to engage end users living in the buildings/neighbourhood and methods to increase the interest and commitment of building owners and market partners.

Socio-economic impacts of refurbishment should be taken into account considering the possibly drastic effects of high renovation costs on house owners and tenants, and seeking possible solutions to reduce costs, as well as addressing the needed commitment by users to energy efficiency after renovation.

Clear evidence of technical, environmental and economic viability should be provided. The possibility to engage municipalities planning to integrate renewable energy sources in the built environment could be an added value.

This topic is particularly suitable for SMEs.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 500000 and 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Cost-effectiveness of the renovation compared to current costs.
  • Adaptive renovation packages with high energy efficiency and low environmental impact.
  • Increased awareness of and commitment to improved energy-efficiency of the building stock.
  • Increased capacity of municipalities to effect the renovation of building stocks, in particular through the use of public procurement tools.
  • Better quality standards and performance guarantees while improving indoor environment and remaining cost-effective.
  • More involvement of customers/users in the integrated–innovative business model solutions.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Open Innovation
Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs)

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

    described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong &Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

    described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.


    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold:
    The criteria, scoring and threshold are described in General Annex H of the work programme.

    The procedure for setting a priority order for proposals with the same score is given in General Annex H of the work programme. The following exceptions apply:

    Under 3 (a)
    Proposals are first ranked in separate lists according to the topics against which they were submitted (‘topic ranked lists’). When comparing ex aequo proposals from different topics, proposals having a higher position in their respective 'topic ranked list' will be considered to have a higher priority in the overall ranked list.

    Under 3 (b)
    For all topics and types of action, the prioritisation will be done first on the basis of the score for Impact, and then on that for Excellence.

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process


    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.
    for the type of action under this topic:

    Coordination and Support Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement


    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.


    Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.
    Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

    Open access to research data
    The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

    Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

    Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

    - Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs.

    - Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment

    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation

    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs)

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Nanotechnologies, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and processing, biotechnology

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Cross-cutting activities (Focus Areas)

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes


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